Meet Chris, our new creative director

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We are delighted to announce the arrival of our new highly decorated creative director Chris Maclean.

Maclean joins us from the post as ECD of Interbrand, a business he was instrumental in building from zero to global respect in just seven years.

Maclean’s work has helped rebrand the likes of Opera Australia, Griffin Theatre Company, Darling Harbour, Alzheimer’s Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, Yellow Pages and Telstra.

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Maclean was the CD behind the visionary colourful transformation of Telstra and managed the giant telco’s brand evolution for more than four years. His unique solution was to build the brand as a playground for creative expression based on emotion that was flexible enough to appeal to all Australians.Manchester, UK born and bred, Maclean’s collection of design awards is testament to his work having impressed awards judges all over the globe, including at D&AD, Cannes (Design Lion), Spikes Asia, Brand New Awards (Best in Show), New York Festivals, Type Directors Club of America, and numerous AGDA awards.Our managing director Patrick Guerrera called Maclean “an incredible addition to the RE senior leadership team.

Continues Guerrera: “He has inspired the Australian and global brand community for almost six years now. We are truly excited about his vision for RE, and introducing a new chapter of creative brilliance and ingenuity to RE.

“His work on the Telstra rebrand is now iconic, and we look forward to Chris bringing that scale of vision and brand ambition to all our clients.

“RE is experiencing a major period of growth, now working with clients in the UK and Chris is the perfect Creative Director to help us build on this momentum.”

Maclean said he has “always admired the work that RE does. They are one of the few branding consultancies in Australia that really gets it.

“RE knows branding is so much more exciting than creating rigid corporate identities and has the power to change the world. And with the world changing at the pace it is they’re talking the right game for the future of our industry.

“And, of course with the strength of the M&C Saatchi Group behind it, RE has even more potential to create brands that have a real impact on the world in a way that’s positive and inspiring. I’m excited to join Patrick and the team to write RE’s next chapter together.”

Welcome to RE Chris. The future looks bright (and tall).

Griffin’s Really Intimate Theatre

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Along with being one of Sydney’s oldest theatre companies, Griffin Theatre Company boasts one of the city’s most intimate venues.

For almost 30 years, the tiny Stables Theatre in King Cross has punched way above its weight, launching the careers of Australian writers and premiering legendary plays including Away, The Boys and Holding the Man.

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Griffin relies on donations. For their End Of Financial Year campaign, they needed something that stood out (and compelled people to part with their hard earned cash). So we drew upon the one feature that makes Griffin so special: the incredible intimacy of their theatre experience.

Designed in collaboration with architect Jon King, and hosted for one day only at Circular Quay, Griffin’s Really Intimate Theatre took ‘up close and personal’ to the next level. One actor. One audience member. One tiny room.

“The intensity of the relationship between the actor and the audience of one was totally transformative,” said Jon King. “In that most public of Australian spaces you were taken on a very personal and intimate and ultimately powerful journey.”

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From the time our mini theatre opened in the early morning, an amazing 75 individual performances were clocked up over six hours. Thanks to everyone who donated their time and energy to making it happen including Kite, RE and Griffin.

If you’d like to donate to Griffin or experience their plays in the flesh, watch the video then visit their website.

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Australian Cancer Research Foundation

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Cancer Research’s unmitigated purpose is to end cancer.
The new identity highlights the insight that ending cancer will effectively end Cancer Research. Bold statements call out the end of cancer and the organisation in contextually relevant ways.

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A custom typeface was developed by Mathieu Reguer to reflect Cancer Research’s progress towards its goal. Characters of varying weights represent how some cancers are close to disappearing, while others remain all too visible.

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By confronting a serious subject matter with a positive and achievable vision, the identity gives people an incredibly compelling reason to donate: That every dollar raised gets us closer to a world without cancer.

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If you’d like to support ACRF check out their website home.cancerresearch
Created by M&C Saatchi & Make

AWARD Awards

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AWARD awards. It’s the acronym that has everyone talking. The Australasian Writers and Art Directors Association awards (just go with it) is billed as the region’s single most important awards show. Now in its 36th year, this night of nights brings together the finest creative work from New Zealand, South East Asia and Australia across a range of disciplines.

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With four nominations in the design category, we were lucky enough to snag tickets to the ceremony at Sydney’s Town Hall to rub shoulders with our advertising and design contemporaries.

And we didn’t go home disappointed.

Our IAG Reconciliation Action Plan received a Bronze Medal in Brochure and Catalogue. Our brand identity for Ridley received a Bronze Medal in Large Identity and Application. And to top it off, our Guide to The Ballsies took home a Silver Medal in Writing For Design.

Congratulations to all the winners and thanks AWARD for a great night out.

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NY TDC IAG Reconciliation plan

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A few weeks back we heard the great news our IAG Reconciliation Plan had picked up another gong, this time from New York Type Directors Club. The RAP picked up a Certificate of Typographic Excellence adding to a growing list of awards and its first for 2015.

The RAP is a commitment to recognise and solve inequality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The report demonstrated their intentions to stakeholders, staff and partners, whilst reinforcing their core values of respect and equality.

Thanks to TDC and congrats to the other winners.

Has the logo had its day?

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Last week our Managing Director Patrick Guerrera was featured on Mumbrella discussing the future of the humble logo and corporate guidelines. And whether clients should be less concerned about corporate logos and more focussed on the multiple touchpoints they need to service. The whole article is below:

In a world where personal brands, social media and an absolute plethora of content stretches into every waking moment of our lives, what role does a logo play in contemporary branding?

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There are simple answers: the ongoing interdependence between corporate reputation and corporate brand is always a consideration. The logo is the trust mark that symbolises the heritage and history of an organisation and its people to all their stakeholders, not just their customers. This symbol is a living artefact and signature of the organisation, its past and all its aspirations.

But brands have never been more dynamic – they are moving and evolving before our eyes everyday. Channel-agnostic brand platforms are built and designed to stretch across a multitude of touch points and expressions – eagerly focused on delivering a truly differentiated “experience” for consumers, anytime and anywhere.

So yes, an organisation’s logo or brand mark will continue to be the final distillation of all the brand’s attributes – the “signature” of a brand.

Why? Because in contemporary marketing logos are the ultimate corporate arrogance. As millennials take their place as the great arbiters and influencers of consumer preference and sentiment, they are judging and shaping brands in real time. They embrace brands that are active and meaningful to them. By meaningful I mean enabling – helping them shape their future state.

So brands can no longer afford to be overtly single-minded. They must be able to engage and sustain a whole range of different customer relationships. In a recent Harvard Business Review article Avery, Fournier & Wittenbraker (2014) introduce the challenge of relational intelligence to readers, suggesting companies “don’t understand how many different kinds of relationships customers can have with brands, nor do they know how to reinforce or change those connections”.

For us at Re we found this incredibly relevant and interesting because it echoes the challenges our clients face everyday. Apart from the ongoing repercussions of the shared economy on branding, we believe the construct of relational intelligence, is a significant lens to consider when embarking on any type of rebranding program. Sure, it is the intersection of CRM and brand, but this is what makes it so interesting.

Avery, Fournier & Wittenbraker (HBR, 2014) outline 6 types of brand-customer relationships:

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Each are illustrated with some poignant examples, such as:

“A team of Harley-Davidson employees, all motorcycle enthusiasts, spent time on the road with customers to develop the kind of intimacy that could cement Harley’s status as a best friend.”

As brand practitioners, the danger here is not to over-simplify these insights as just simple communications tasks – that is, just targeting communications to different relational typologies. This is about ensuring that the brand strategy and its expression is flexible and broad enough, to connect and support the expectations of any of these typologies. This provides a significant lens for attribution definition as well as brand design, experience and communication.

So maybe it’s not just the logo that is dead, maybe it’s the traditional corporate brand systems that are often governed within an inch of their lives?

So is the logo really dead? Well no. We will always use logo’s because they are the ultimate identifier of an organisation.

However, singular static corporate brand systems are now irrelevant. What replaces them is dynamic and living design systems that can flex and stretch and build experiences across a broad range of customer typologies and channels.

This is why life in a branding agency has never been more exciting – we are constantly evolving and revitalizing the brands we create to ensure they are constantly compelling and relevant to the consumer. So the logo might be here to stay … but the corporate guideline document should go the way of the Dodo!

AGDA Biennale 2014

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What do you get if you mix 10 designers, three nights in Hobart and an awards show? An amazing weekend…or a misguided cake recipe. You choose.

This year the Australian Design Biennale was held in Tasmania, bringing designers from far and wide to the beautiful city of Hobart. The weekend long event of talks, trips to MONA and drinks culminated in the AGDA Design Awards held at Peppermint Bay, a 45 minute ferry trip away.

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With 13 nominations across several categories, we felt it only right to send a few of our hard working folk away for the weekend to sample the Tasmanian lifestyle. The awards night didn’t disappoint. We picked up 3 Distinctions, two for Shanghai Biennale in Brochure and Poster design and another for Writing for Design for Optus. Even better, we received a Pinnacle for our Steve Li business cards. A fantastic way to end our weekend.

Thanks to AGDA for a great weekend and congratulations to all the other winners.

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